09-12-2011, 09:16 PM #1
Firefighters in Lehi remember Sept. 11
Firefighters in Lehi remember Sept. 11
Lehi Fire Department Engineer Randy Harding rings the memorial bell after a moment of silence inside during the 9/11 program Sunday at Fire Station 81. He is ringing out what emergency response personnel call the last alarm -- three sets of three rings. Photo by Cathy Allred
9/11 Memorial Lehi City firefighters met Sunday morning to honor the firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001. .
LEHI -- A large crowd gathered in the bays of Fire Station No. 81 on Sunday evening to remember the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to share a moment of silence and listen to the last alarm ring from the historical Lehi city bell.
"It was a very, very good program," retired fire chief Mac Powell said.
He and his wife, Barbara Powell, were staying at a Mesquite hotel while traveling through Nevada when Barbara saw the news on Sept. 11, 2001.
"I thought it was animation, but then they played it again and again," she said, adding she called out to her husband saying "Hun, you got to come look at this."
They immediately checked out of the hotel and drove home. Neither of them spoke and they listened to the radio for news the entire drive. Mac Powell said his thoughts were with the firefighters in New York City and what was going to happen to them.
Bay doors were shut to keep out the noise of the blustery day outside and to better hear the speakers for the 9/11 program in Lehi. Dark clouds added to the somber feeling of the service.
Mayor Bert Wilson spoke on behalf of Lehi city, saying he had heard 9/11 compared to the attack on Pearl Harbor during World War II in 1941.
"It has affected our nation," Wilson said. "In the matter of a few hijackings, the whole world was turned around."
He said he would never forget what 9/11 did for him and his community.
"We are getting the bad guys bit by bit," he said. "They may have won that day, but they haven't won the war."
Lehi Fire Chief Dale Ekins said firefighters across the country would have gone up the Twin Towers when everyone else was going down and out the buildings.
"Our Lehi firefighters would have done the same thing," Ekins said. "They would have been the first ones in."
American Fork firefighters and other departments were at the memorial service. One such group, the Utah Valley Dispatch, had three representatives in the audience.
"It was a touching program, very moving," said UVD Executive Director Deborah Mecham. "We work with these guys every day, so it's important to us to remember the sacrifices they make every day for all of us."
UVD Executive Director Vince Rowley said he was in high school in 2001. He said he remembers the feeling of helplessness.
"Not being able to do anything about it," Rowley said.
His wife, Jamie Rowley, said the memorial program was appreciated.
"I thought it was really touching to see those videos and be reminded of what we went through," she said.
One of the more moving moments was the moment of silence at the end of the program and the following last alarm call rung on the Lehi city bell by Lehi engineer Randy Harding.
Afterwards, members of the audience slowly gathered by the bell and the United States flag posted halfway to take photos and gather their thoughts.
"They will never be forgotten," Ekins said.
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